- Tooth enamel study recommends parents cut kids' soft drink, fruit juice consumption
- Taking aspiring daily can lower your cancer risk in middle age
- If your vitamin D levels are low, your dementia risk may be higher
Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation -- so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.
Big day? Blast some music
"Can't you hear the music pumping hard?"
Salt 'N' Pepa may not have known that they were asking a valid question at the time, but according to a study published on Tuesday, the answer is important to your state of mind.
Researchers at Northwestern University found that music can make us feel powerful, though not all kinds of music have the same effect. Music with high levels of bass evoked higher levels of power and dominance among the 75 undergraduate students tested in the study.
"When watching major sports events, my coauthors and I frequently noticed athletes with their earphones on while entering the stadium and in the locker room," said study author Dennis Hsu in an editorial accompanying the study.
So whatever the big event may be -- a job interview, game day or vital presentation -- put on your headphones and jam away.
Taking aspirin daily can cut your cancer risk
Journal: Annals of Oncology
It's well known that aspirin has more benefits than just easing headaches. Past studies suggest that the cheap pills can also lower your heart attack risk and protect against certain types of cancer.
Now, for the first time, researchers have reviewed all the available evidence and looked at the benefits and harms of taking aspirin for preventive use.
"Prophylactic aspirin use for a minimum of 5 years at doses between 75 and 325 mg/day appears to have favorable benefit-harm profile," write the researchers from Queen Mary University of London in the journal Annals of Oncology.
A daily dose of aspirin for 10 years cuts bowel cancer cases by 35% and deaths by 40% in both men and women between ages 50 and 65, their review found. The rates of stomach and esophageal cancers were cut by 35% to 50%.
The study, published Tuesday, also addressed the most common side effect of taking aspirin daily: stomach bleeding. Among 60-year-olds who take daily aspirin for 10 years, the risk of stomach bleeding increased from 2.2% to 3.6%.
Low vitamin D levels double your dementia risk
Scientists don't know exactly what prevents Alzheimer's and dementia, but getting enough vitamin D may delay devastating brain disease.
A new study published in the journal Neurology suggests that low vitamin D levels in elderly men and women more than doubles their risk of developing dementia later in life.
The researchers tested vitamin D blood levels of 1,658 dementia-free people over the age of 65. Over the following six years, people who were severely vitamin D deficient had a 125% increased risk of developing Alzheimer's or dementia compared with participants with normal levels of vitamin D.
Clinical trials are now needed to see whether vitamin D-rich foods like salmon or eggs, and vitamin D supplements delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer's and dementia, the researchers say.
Work out smarter, not harder, with interval training
A study published Monday in Diabetologia suggests that alternating slow- and fast-paced walking could be better than walking at a continuous speed for those with type 2 diabetes who are trying to manage blood sugar levels.
When comparing interval training with continuous speed training, researchers found that interval training displayed more favorable outcomes for controlling blood sugar levels, despite the fact that the overall energy expenditure in both forms of training remained the same.
The Danish study looked at type 2 diabetic patients between the ages of 57 to 62 years who were randomly divided into three groups: eight people in the control group, 12 in the continuous walking group and 12 in the interval walking group. The walking groups were instructed to train five times a week for an hour while their insulin secretion levels were measured.
After four months, the study concluded that improved blood sugar control was evident only in the interval walking group. No changes were observed in the control and continuous walking groups.
According to the authors, the most important finding of the study is that the interval walking group experienced increased insulin sensitivity, which diabetics typically struggle with, without making their bodies produce less insulin.
Soft drinks and fruit juice can damage your teeth permanently
Brushing your teeth may not be enough to save you from tooth damage caused by soft drinks and fruit juice. A study published Tuesday by researchers at the University of Adelaide found that drinks with high acid content can erode tooth enamel within 30 seconds of consumption.
"If high acidity drinks are consumed, it is not simply a matter of having a child clean their teeth an hour or 30 minutes later and hoping they'll be okay," Sarbin Ranjitkar, an author on the study, said in a news release. "The damage is already done."
Researchers say the damage to teeth from acidic drinks can be irreversible.
To avoid permanent consequences, Ranjitkar recommends that parents limit the number of acidic drinks that their children consume and choose fresh fruit over fruit juice.